Mambo Mikindani!May 20 2013

EdUKaid's Project Support Assistant in the UK, Clare visited Mikindani in April to catch up with the team and EdUKaid's projects. Read on to see how the trip went...

I got that buzz, that childish giddy feeling that I really try to keep under wraps when I arrived at Mtwara Airport – for those of you that haven’t been there, Terminal 2 was opened last year and now the duty free consists of some cashew nuts and you can usually pick up a soda drink in the refreshment fridge. Bag collection is a wooden table where one by one a bag is carried from the aircraft to the table and you put your hand up to claim it! It’s a pretty brief procedure… and I was out to warm welcoming’s, big smiles and friendly faces rather quickly.

“Mambo,” “Poa” “Mambo,” “Karibu sana.”

Roadside Mikindani

With the huge help from Jaylani, Ally, Mohamed and Ally. S, as a team we managed to get so much achieved over the two week visit. I visited the Extra Tuition twice to observe both the Primary and Secondary classes. I was so impressed by the number of students that were there, in BOTH classes.

            

Extra Tuition is based at Mottisfont House, which EdUKaid plan to renovate in 2013 - Watch this space...literally!

For me, the Primary class being taught in English (when this isn’t even the case in schools for this age group) demonstrates the benefits that students attending really are getting – this project truly is a very successful extension to the Child Sponsorship Scheme.

It's all smiles for the camera at Singino Primary!

Due to well organised planning on Jaylani’s part, I managed to meet with Mr Fidelis, Maisha (Pre-primary Coordinator); the Fishing Project team, and visit the project one afternoon; go to Singino Primary and Pre-primary; spend a morning at Msijute Pre-primary; research courses at local Vocational Centre’s in Mtwara for 2013/14 in-take of EdUKaid Vocational Students; and have a staff meeting with the entire team!    

          

A couple of pictures from the Fishing Project; A sustainable community initiative fish farming project supporting and allowing disadvantaged and disabled children to go to school. EdUKaid are going to be supporting this project later in 2013

Having to pick a highlight from the trip would just be a mean task for me, but I really really really did enjoy my visits to both Singino and Msijute Pre-primary classes. Msijute was awesome! The class opened in September 2012. It was the first EdUKaid renovated school I ever visited on my first trip to Mikindani in August 2012. Children aged three were now counting to fifty in English… I was speechless!

Msijute... with an enthused Teachers' touch (nine months after EdUKaid completed renovation work at this Primary School)

There’s that buzz again – seeing a school transformed; an additional Pre-primary facility and Montessori trained teacher provided, the impact it’s having is simply awe inspiring. A Big difference!

          

There was learning and laughter, with a side of fun and a topping of singing. How these children stand up in front of their sixty or so co-learner’s and belt out such a rhythmical version of the alphabet is beyond me, but it was mind blowing. It was beautifully sweet and very catchy…

The Pre primary, Montessorie trained EdUKaid Teachers... and the numbers on the increase!

It was great to work with Ally Simba, EdUKaid’s new recruit in the Mikindani office. Starting only in March 2013, you would have thought he had been working with Ally Mushini, Jaylani and Mohamed for months, perhaps even years! He was very much part of the team, ‘the growing EdUKaid family’ as Mr Fidelis put it at the staff meeting during the week.

EdUKaid Tanzania's new recruit - Ally Simba

I am sure that this time round it was so much darker during the night time. This may have had something to do with me forgetting my torch so my walk back to EdUKaid house involved a ‘knees up and slowly back down’ style walking to avoid any ditches or rocks on the road! Saying this, it was also the most amazing night skies I think I have ever seen, it was epic.

During the visit Ally, Project Coordinator for the Schools Improvement Project came to the office a few times to work with Jaylani and myself on the plans for the Community Centre House Renovation which is on the horizon, and very exciting. Now Mwenge Primary is finished and their NEW EdUKaid Pre-primary class is up-and-running, the focus of the School Improvement Team is on the House renovations – they’re busy organising the scaffolding and finishing the last preparation before the build now!

I was so happy to be back in Mikindani working with some incredibly motivated and inspiring people, in a magical place, surrounded by a warm, friendly community. A place I love being.

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